HAITIAN ARTIST ANNICK DUVIVIER “CLOSER TO NATURE” IMPLORES VIEWERS TO PROTECT NATURE
Annick Duvivier in her studio with her work, “Preserve” (48”x64”) to preserve nature painted for Tamarac Public Art competition and was one of three pieces chosen in a national call for art by the City of Tamarac as part of their Pubic Art Program. March 2023. Photo by JM Ligonde.
The labyrinthine twisting and turning pathways connecting Miami’s artistic communities can seem hidden and difficult to maneuver, but there are collaborative channels to be found that connect and support artists. One brilliant instance which opened both physical and conceptual pathways was a highly immersive, cross-disciplinary Artist Residency hosted by the Adrienne Arsht Center in December 2022, in conjunction with the performance piece “The Head and the Load.” When a diverse group of attending artists, writers, filmmakers, designers, and educators workshopped with the international creators of “The Head and The Load,” and learned new techniques, absorbed new concepts, became friends, and continued to collaborate and support each other locally.
One of the participating artists was Haitian Artist Annick Duvivier, whose solo art exhibit, “Closer to Nature” opens May 4 at the Hilton Blue Lagoon with support from the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau Art of Black Miami, and taking place during Haitian History Month. Duvivier said, “I learned life lessons in the workshops on how to create under pressure, with anxiety, and to create with the lack of sleep and with fear. These life lessons have helped me, as I sometimes struggle to get into a creative flow because I am worried about my immediate family…my parents, my grandparents, and my brother…who still reside in Haiti…The other day I heard that less than half an hour from where they live a bus was burned…the phone lines were down…all the turmoil happening, can drain creativity…
“But I felt the Arsht “Head and The Load” workshop was a mental preparation to learn how to cope. Knowing that it is possible to create in any situation created a paradigm shift for me. Before I used to need to be in a certain mood to create, feeling happy, good, and never creating when I was upset…maybe I didn’t want to know what would come out because when you have different feelings you create with more expression, with a different palette so it doesn’t come out the same way. Now I am aware that I can also create under stress, in fear, because I need to feel what I’m feeling – what a life-changing experience,” revealed Duvivier.
When her opening invitations for “Closer to Nature” went out, the almost 100 artists Duvivier met during those December Arsht workshops were included. Duvivier explained, “When I came here to Miami from Haiti, I was super alone. I didn’t know anyone. So having a group of people that are encouraging and who are doing things, who are shakers and movers at the same time, it was incredible. To have access to all these people it’s so great. I love it. I became friends with at least three different artists. Because of that seminar, we talk and we share opportunities.”
Duvivier was born and raised in Haiti. She studied Fine Arts at Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic which is affiliated with Parsons School of Design in New York and returned to Haiti to paint and worked with Art Historian Dr. Marie-Alice Theard to organize prominent Haitian artist exhibitions at the Festival Arts Gallery in Port-au-Prince.
In 2015 she moved to Miami and achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Miami International University of Art and Design because she felt that she didn’t have the proper tools to promote her painting. “I learned how to do my website. I did all the professional development there. Photoshop, photography, and digital videos really helped me to be an up-to-date artist and opened so many doors because now I can take pictures of my artwork. I can do my own social media. I do my videos. I do my editing. I do my design. My party invitations. I do my graphics. It’s a complete package now.”
Duvivier said of her current solo exhibition with 19 pieces, “I call it “Closer to Nature,” and they’re all mixed media collage pieces with plants telling the same story – to be aware of what we consume and how it affects nature. And I have seen firsthand in Haiti how nature has been abused. Not replenished, not taken care of. I know the results of that. I know there are more earthquakes now.”.
“I was there during the earthquake in 2010. And my house was damaged. We couldn’t stay in it because it had literally shifted, everything was on one side, crooked, and we were scared to stay in the house, so we stayed outside. My parents, my brother, my grandmother, my uncle, my sister, the whole family, we took all the cushions, the mattress, we put them in the garden.
“We spent two weeks in the garden sleeping outside and during that time, I was watching nature. I was looking at the trees, I was looking at the plants, I was looking at how the ants were moving in the garden because everything was frazzled. Spiders were running, ants were running. Nature was reacting and I was just there sitting and watching the leaf. And in those two weeks, I realized that we needed nature, to go barefoot, to be in nature and it started to ground me and I started feeling calmer. I decided at that moment that I was going to paint and I was going to try to raise awareness and ever since I’ve always been painting to try to tell people that we need to get better at protecting Nature.
“And what that means is making small changes every day. Instead of using a water bottle that is plastic, you use a reusable glass bottle or use a reusable plastic bottle, instead of buying flowers at the grocery store. You can buy a plant that has flowers. That way you’re getting clean air in your house. Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle. Repurpose…And I do that with my art by using old magazines, by using recycled frames, sometimes recycled canvases, and I cover them with paper and then I paint on it…I started mounting my pieces in 3-D and expanding the paintings and collages over the frame to repurpose older frames… I think that’s a great way to repurpose and then also to protect the Planet,” she emphasized how the little things people can do really can make a positive impact.
IF YOU GO
WHERE: Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon, 5101 Blue Lagoon Dr, Miami, FL 33126
WHEN: Opens May 4, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, RSVP her for Meet the Artist Opening Cocktail
Exhibit through the end of August 2023
INFORMATION: (786)329-2686 or For More Information and to RSVP for Free Opening Night Reception, visit annickduvivier.com